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G7 invite a clear signal of positive conditions in Sri Lanka Empty G7 invite a clear signal of positive conditions in Sri Lanka

Thu May 26, 2016 2:36 pm
G7 invite a clear signal of positive conditions in Sri Lanka - report

May 26, 2016 01:09 pm

President Maithripala Sirisena arrived this morning (May 26) in Nagoya in Southern Japan to participate in the G 7 Outreach Summit in Ise-Shima, an exotic island south of Nagoya.

The President was received at the airport by Yoji Muto, Japanese Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hideaki Oomura, Governor of Aichi Prefecture, Hideaki Oomura, Ambassador Dhammika Ganganath Dissanayake and other officials and diplomats.

This afternoon President Sirisena is scheduled to meet Vietnamese Prime Minister Ngyuyn Xuan Phuc for bilateral discussions. They will also discuss the issues to be discussed at the G 7 Outreach Summit sustainable peace, stability and prosperity.

Later Head of Japan External Trade Organization, Hiroyuki Ishige and Onomichi Dockyard President Takashi Nakabe will meet the President, according to his media division.

A leading analyst Ayako Mie of the Japan Times said the G 7 leaders are very likely to seriously discuss and take decisions regarding maritime security of Asian sea lanes, health and gender issues and arrive at some workable solutions.

He added that Japan decided to invite countries such as Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Papua New Guinea for the purpose of emphasizing the need to support these upcoming Asian nations.

Sarath Adikaram of World Vision in Tokyo said that as President Sirisena described recently, Japan is one of the few countries that assist other nations without expecting anything in return. “Participating in G 7 Outreach Summit, Sri Lanka’s image as a country with stability and development potential received a boost,” he said.

In addition to the immense image building and long term benefits that Sri Lanka could get from the G 7 Summit in Ise Shima, on the sideline of the Summit, there will be a Japan – Sri Lanka bilateral meeting that could generate bountiful results for the benefit of Sri Lanka. The preliminary discussions indicated what Sri Lanka could get from Japan for long term and short term projects.

There is a great interest in Japan about the G 7 Summit. While two major newspapers, Asahi Shimbun and Yomiuri Shimbun carried several features on G 7, in most of the articles on the G 7 Outreach Session carried photographs of President Maithripala Sirisena and articles on his achievements, though there are six other countries among the invitees.

Genji Sukuma, a retired consultant said that Japanese investors would see the invitation to G 7 as a clear signal of positive conditions in Sri Lanka conducive for investments.

Ven Seelabadra Thero of the Sri Lankan Buddhist Temple, Lankaji near Narito in Tokyo said many Japanese consider Sri Lanka as a special friend of Sri Lanka. “They are very happy when Japan extends grants and assistance to Sri Lankan people as they see that country as a feat peace-loving Buddhist country,” he said.

President Sirisena arrived in Nagoya, the closest city to Ise Shima, the venue of the Summit, without going to the Japanese capital Tokyo. “The President expressed his regret that he would not be able to open the new Buddhist temple near Narita as he has to return to Sri Lankan immediately, lamented Ven Banagala Upatissa Thero, the Sanghanayake of Japan.

Apart from Sri Lanka, Laos (ASEAN Chair), Chad (Chair of African Union), Papua New Guinea (Head of Pacific and Island nations Forum), Vietnam, Malaysia and Bangladesh have been invited to participate in the G 7 Outreach Sessions.

As the Tokyo government sources revealed, Japan is ready to support Sri Lanka to be a commercial naval hub as the country is ideally situated to be a key transportation hub in the Indo-Pacific Ocean.

President Sirisena, during his discussions with Japanese Premier’s Special Envoy, mentioned about the health sector in Sri Lanka, with a special mention about the Chronic Kidney Diseases and the need for supply of drinking water.

Japan is likely to consider assisting major water purification schemes in Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa districts.

Japan is highly appreciative about the good governance in Sri Lanka and strengthening of democratic institutions. That is another important area in which substantial assistance could be expected. Another potential area is institutional reform in macro-economy and public finance management.
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